The humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to deteriorate, especially in the east of the country. As a result, the EU is allocating an additional €32.7 million, to support the humanitarian crisis response in the country.
The new funding comes in addition to the €45.7 million announced earlier this year and brings the total funding for the DRC to almost €80 million for 2023. This funding will be channelled through humanitarian organisations to cover immediate needs such as nutrition, healthcare, water and sanitation, shelter and protection.
The EU has also set up Humanitarian Air Bridge flights to Goma in eastern DRC, delivering essential medical and nutritional supplies and other emergency items. In March and April 2023, this Humanitarian Air Bridge delivered a total of 260 tons of supplies through seven flights. These flights were organised in collaboration with France and our humanitarian partner organisations.
Humanitarian needs in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are among the highest in the world. There are currently over 6.2 million displaced people within the DRC – the highest number in Africa. More than 1 million Congolese refugees live in neighbouring countries. Given the instability in the region, the DRC itself hosts more than half a million refugees from neighbouring countries. The rapid deterioration of the security situation in the east of the country has resulted in more than 1.1 million civilians becoming newly displaced since March 2022.
The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) keeps evolving as populations flee new areas of fighting. Many live in highly precarious conditions and nearly 500 000 people are stranded in and around Goma, the capital of North Kivu province. Almost all live in inhuman conditions and face multiple needs, including food, water and sanitation, healthcare, and shelter.
In conflict-affected areas, violence and insecurity limit income-generating opportunities, disrupt agriculture and displace populations, resulting in some 27 million people being acutely food insecure (over 1/4 of the population). An estimated 2.8 million children are acutely malnourished.
The lack of protection for civilian populations is the overarching key problem in the conflict-affected areas. Different armed actors involved in the conflict are perpetrating human rights and IHL violations, including gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and abuse, child recruitment, physical violence, murder, abduction, torture, attacks on schools, health structures and looting frequently and in a context of years of impunity. In addition, the DRC faces recurrent epidemics, such as cholera, measles, monkey pox and Ebola. Its weak health system and lack of basic infrastructure and social services, including in the health sector, add to the challenge.
Most of the EU-funded humanitarian projects are helping vulnerable people in the east of the country, where persistent conflict is ongoing. The EU works with partners to:
- provide food assistance and nutrition, shelter, protection, emergency healthcare, including care for survivors of sexual violence
- improve water, sanitation and hygiene conditions
- ensure that children caught in humanitarian crises can go to school.
Source European Commission